Saturday, November 13, 2010

Poem for Saturday and Grotto of Lourdes

Love and Black Magic
By Robert Graves

TO the woods, to the woods is the wizard gone;
In his grotto the maiden sits alone.
She gazes up with a weary smile
At the rafter-hanging crocodile,
The slowly swinging crocodile.
Scorn has she of her master's gear,
Cauldron, alembic, crystal sphere,
Phial, philtre—"Fiddlededee
For all such trumpery trash!" quo' she.
"A soldier is the lad for me;
Hey and hither, my lad!

"Oh, here have I ever lain forlorn:
My father died ere I was born,
Mother was by a wizard wed,
And oft I wish I had died instead—
Often I wish I were long time dead.
But, delving deep in my master's lore,
I have won of magic power such store
I can turn a skull—oh, fiddlededee
For all this curious craft!" quo' she.
"A soldier is the lad for me;
Hey and hither, my lad!

"To bring my brave boy unto my arms,
What need have I of magic charms—
‘Abracadabra!' and ‘Prestopuff'?
I have but to wish, and that is enough.
The charms are vain, one wish is enough.
My master pledged my hand to a wizard;
Transformed would I be to toad or lizard
If e'er he guessed—but fiddlededee
For a black-browed sorcerer, now," quo' she.
"Let Cupid smile and the fiend must flee;
Hey and hither, my lad."


It was an incredibly beautiful November day -- nearly 60 degrees, sunny, golden -- so my major activity was taking a long walk in the woods. Well, that and I wrote a review of Star Trek: The Next Generation's "Eye of the Beholder", which I don't hate -- there are plenty of enjoyable scenes between Troi, Worf, and Riker -- but which has a poorly thought out script and ultimately feels pointless. Otherwise, I did some reading and emptied the dishwasher, and in the evening we had dinner with my parents (Middle Eastern food and potato kugel, yum).

The front gate of the Grotto of Lourdes at Mount St. Mary's college in Emmitsburg, Maryland.

The Corpus Christi Chapel at the National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Basilica, named for the first U.S.-born saint, who had lived in the region.

The statue of Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals.

A bench with lines by Robert Burns is a new addition...

...near the round pool filled with spring water.

The LaVang Shrine is another new addition. In 1798, thousands of persecuted Vietnamese Catholics took refuge in the forest of LaVang, where they saw a vision of Mary, who guided them to food and medicine.

I love the Asian appearance of the Madonna and Child in this shrine, and all the different Marys around the Grotto.

There are always lit candles and flowers at the Grotto itself.

I was hoping for more Teri Hatcher on tonight's Smallville, but I enjoyed it anyway, especially -- spoilers -- the surprise of Julian Sands' Jor-El and Helen Slater's Lara appearing in the episode! Lois was wonderful after the daddy-fest and crazy sacrificial disasters -- I loved her dialogue about loss and moving on, but my favorite line was to the dog, "I'm Watson to his Holmes, Cher to his Sonny...just like you're Scooby to his Shaggy." The Granny stuff was badly written -- her dialogue with Clark reminded me of the terrible scenes in Star Trek V with Kirk talking to Spock's brother Sybok about how he wanted to keep his pain -- but it was all worth it finally to find out that Tess is Lex's sister. Awesome!

Then we watched the "Rhythm of Life" episode of Great Migrations, which has no interviews or voice-overs -- it's entirely footage of animals at various points in their life cycles, set to music, ranging from crabs who fight and mate and die before their hundreds of babies are born to zebras who look like they're being stalked by a cheetah until they chase one of the cheetah's babies away from one of their own. Sanctuary was a little too superhero-focused for my taste this week but hey, Kate in spandex cannot be considered a bad thing.

The Friday Five: Birthdays
1. Do you really make wishes when you blow out the candles on your cake?
2. Have any of the wishes ever come true, if yes? No, because I generally ask for rather large things that affect many people.
3. How do you feel about birthdays? (e.g. love the attention, just another day, don't want anyone to know my real age, etc.) Like the attention, don't particularly like getting older at this point.
4. Tell us a favorite gift you've received, or something you'd really like for your next birthday. All my favorite gifts have been things people made for me.
5. What flavor cake? I'm not really a big cake person, but I'll eat chocolate just about anything.

Fannish5: Name five characters with the best hair styles.
1. Lucius Malfoy (Jason Isaacs)
, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
2. Velma Von Tussle (Debbie Harry), Hairspray
3. Servilia of the Junii (Lindsay Duncan), Rome
4. Janice Rand (Grace Lee Whitney), Star Trek
5. Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp), Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

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